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Former New York Jet Takes a Shot at the PGA Tour
South Floridian, former New York Jet moves from Gridiron to Greens
It’s hard to find two sports more opposite than golf and soccer, Stevie Anderson argues that there are some similarities between the two sports. Anderson, who spent five years performing acrobatic catches in the National Football League (NFL), is connecting the dots between the sports by making some serious breakthroughs in his fiery pursuit of a career on the PGA Tour.
Anderson is one of three brothers from Jonesboro, Louisiana – a small, bucolic town – who remarkably all played in the NFL. Now he finds himself, in all places, on the links, where he travels across the country to play PGA qualifying tournaments.
If it is obvious by the power of his swing that Anderson has the physical assets to play on the circuit, it is all the same a gargantuan challenge that he has in front of him. Anderson has spent his entire life overcoming obstacles. He defied the odds when he was drafted in the eighth round of the NFL by the Arizona Cardinals in 1993, after playing at Grambling State, an obscure university with a barely shy enrollment of 5,000 students.
Anderson was a very special player at Grambling State, a historic black university where he had the luxury of playing for legendary football coach Eddie Robinson, the second-most-winning coach in the history of college football in the Premier League. However, playing for Robinson had its downsides.
Robinson maintained a strict rule, that every senior on the team – whether you were a superstar or a bench warmer – had the opportunity to play. In Anderson’s case, this resulted in half a game of playing time. Robinson enforced this measure to give seniors the opportunity to be seen by scouts.
While this unconventional coaching philosophy is noble for Robinson, it has severely handicapped Anderson’s ability to post the high numbers as the wide receiver often required of players on teams not on the radar of scouts. the NFL.
Anderson’s senior year was by far his most successful. He made the most of each of his 36 receptions by converting them into a staggering 12 touchdowns. For math geeks, that translates to a touchdown every three receptions.
Those numbers were good enough that Anderson was invited to play in the Hawaiian Hula Bowl – college football’s all-star game – a rarity for players in smaller programs like Grambling State, despite their heritage of producing NFL alumni, whose list includes Doug Williams, the first African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl in league history.
Anderson, the 6-foot-6, 215-pound wide receiver — blessed with blistering speed, size and length — was rewarded handsomely for his stellar college career when he was drafted 8th tour by the Arizona Cardinals in 1993. Anderson went on to play five years in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets.
In his fifth season in the NFL while facing the Seattle Seahawks, he suffered a career-ending injury after performing a routine passing pattern. Anderson’s defender tripped him and then landed awkwardly on his knee – tearing his posterior crucial ligament (PCL). After her football career ended, Anderson successfully transitioned into a modeling career and her life seemed to be on the right track.
Now the sport of golf is his passion. If history repeats itself for Anderson – the returning kid – you’ll see him compete on the same green grass as Tiger Woods one day in the not-too-distant future after an illustrious career on the gridiron.
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